B. Smith's Husband Says He's Gotten 'Death Threats' Since Going Public with His New Girlfriend
Gasby, 64, who is dating girlfriend Alex Lerner, 53, while caring for his wife B. Smith as she battles Alzheimer’s disease, will appear on the Dr. Oz Show on Tuesday to discuss his relationship and the backlash it’s caused.
In an exclusive clip from the appearance above, Dr. Mehmet Oz asks Gasby how his friends feel about his new relationship.
“All the ones that know B are extremely supportive extremely supportive, have no problems with it,” says Gasby, who has been married to the restaurateur and lifestyle guru for 26 years. “The people because she’s a celebrity, a personality quote, unquote, they weigh in, and what they do is they attach what they feel B would. They attach their feelings as ‘Well, B doesn’t know. She wouldn’t want this.’ Well, if B knew, I wouldn’t be with Alex because she wouldn’t have Alzheimer’s.”
Smith was diagnosed with the disease six years ago after her husband started noticing uncharacteristic behavior in his wife, including mood swings, midnight kitchen raids and, most of all, forgetfulness. He has since become her full-time caretaker at their East Hampton home, where Lerner also stays when she is visiting from Manhattan.
While he has received support from people who also care or have cared for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, he says he finds the critics “maddening.”
“I mean, we’ve had death threats,” he says on Dr. Oz. “I mean, we’ve had people just do all kind of crazy things. They’ve never been to our restaurants. We don’t know them. They make all kind of racial innuendos.”
Lerner also finds the judgement “rather appalling,” she says in another clip from Tuesday’s episode.
“What a lot of people don’t understand about Alzheimer’s [is that] B now is really like a 4 year old.. like a toddler in an adult body and can’t take care of herself at all,” she says. “She needs 24 hour care.”
Gasby first posted a photo with Lerner on his Facebook page, where he has kept Smith’s fans updated on her health, in December, and the trio were profiled in the Washington Post on Monday.
Though Gasby says Smith might not quite understand her husband’s new relationship, she knows that she is loved and cared for.
“I love my wife,” he wrote on Facebook, “but I can’t let her take away my life!”